EXPLAIN THE MENSTRUAL CYCLE
Ensure she knows what is actually happening and that her period is not just a random bleed each month.It is actually SO much more than that. You can use the following video to help explain the menstrual cycle.
Ensure to use correct terminology for her anatomy. We all know where our lungs, heart and brains are and what they do.The same should apply for our ovaries, uterus and cervix.
KNOW WHAT IS NORMAL
The first few years of her period can be a little different to what we have come to know is normal and regular.Tracking her cycle is a very important part of knowing her body and finding what is normal for her.
Four things that are normal (anything outside of this is considered abnormal)
1 – Cycle length of 21 – 45 days.It can take two years for it to become a regular 26-32 cycle, and fluctuations are normal
2 – Bleeding for between 3-6 days
3 – Blood loss of between 30-80ml over the course of her period
4 – Colour can change between red and brown, and is often brown to start with.
Bonus 5 – Pain is common, but is not normal.Anything outside of these should be closely monitored.Our periods are very good at giving us clues of our overall health.
PREPARE WITH PRODUCTS
The options we have available now are so fantastic!
– Biodegradable and organic disposable pads
– Reusable pads
– Period underwear and swimwear
– Biodegradable and organic disposable tampons
– Menstrual cups and discs
Spend some time looking at all of the options and seeing what your daughter is the most comfortable with.There is no right or wrong here, it really is personal preference. Practice with them to ensure she knows how they work and signs of when to change.
ADDRESS THE PHASES
Having a menstrual cycle means we are cyclical beings and it’s normal for us to feel differently, behave differently, create differently and even eat differently in each different phase of our cycle.
Just like the seasons, we move through four different phases
– Menstrual phase/Inner Winter
– Follicular phase/Inner Spring
– Ovulation phase/Inner Summer
– Luteal phase/Inner Autumn
This is where cycle tracking comes in and can help guide us to better work with our own seasons.
SHARE STORIES & HONOUR HER
It can feel lonely as a teen or tween going through these changes.Help her feel less alone by sharing your own first period stories.If you have other special women in her life, ask them to share their stories as well.Talk about what life was like for you at that time.
Acknowledging this rite of passage is important and will help her know of the special place she holds in her family and her wider community.Do this in a way that honours who she is.Some girls are happy for others to know and a celebration to be had, other girls would prefer a quiet, more intimate acknowledgement.